FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

The Longer We Stay, the Deeper They Will Hate Us

by RON JACOBS

 

Let’s see: the US forces are arresting Iraqi workers who were protesting the treatment of unemployed Iraqi workers by occupation forces and U.S. corporations granted contracts for work in Iraq; the United Nations headquarters in Iraq is bombed because of its complicity in the colonial government that the US is trying to form and its role in the devastating sanctions that cleared the way for the US/UK war on Iraq; the US is getting ready to deport hundreds of men who were picked up in recent roundups of Middle Eastern and other Asians who had problems with their INS status; and, just for good measure, Rumsfeld has given the US the go-ahead to resume flights designed to intercept or shoot down supposed drug flights. Oh yeah, the New York Times and John McCain have asked that more troops be sent to Iraq.

As the son of a veteran and the sibling of another, I am always dumbstruck when I hear old soldiers make these kinds of statements. What, I wonder, is going on in their brain? How can they wish their children and grandchildren to be put in harms way for no discernible reason? Didn’t their combat experience–especially for those who served in Vietnam or Korea–prove to them that wars fought for no reasons other than empire and its accompanying greed are exercises in futility? Don’t they remember the hatred they felt from the locals in the countries they swaggered through or (in McCain’s case) bombed from the sky? Didn’t they recognize that the longer they and their fellow soldiers stayed in country, the deeper that hatred became?

What kind of idiots do they take us for? They lied to get us into their war (and about the consequences) and now they expect us to believe that a few hundred thousand more of our boys and girls in uniform sweating in the desert sun with their fingers on the trigger of their automatic weapons will get the results the Pentagon wants? For those of you who dont know the routine: this is what the Pentagon always says. The war on Vietnam was started with only a few thousand GIs. Then, when the Vietnamese resistance refused to roll over and die–choosing instead to attack US and other foreign troops at will–we were told that more troops were needed to accomplish Washington’s goal. Unless that goal was the slaughter and wounding of millions and the destruction of their country (which it may have been), no stated goal was ever accomplished. The war on Korea was started under similar circumstances. It ended with no borders changing and millions of people dead and wounded. Hell, they didn’t even sign a peace treaty in that one.

What is going on in Iraq is the very quagmire Bush and Blair were warned against. Unless we want it to grow, it is essential that we insist on the combat in Iraq being a major campaign issue. No candidate should get away without stating his/her position clearly and unequivocally. The duty of those forces arrayed against the war before it began need to get back in the streets and make it clear that we will not be fooled. While we regret the lives of those foreign soldiers and civilians who have died in this war as much as we regret the lives of the Iraqis killed and destroyed, we know better than to believe that sending more occupation forces and carpetbaggers to Iraq will justify their deaths. There can be no justification for them. They will only be honored when their brothers and sisters in arms are brought home.

This won’t happen unless we make it happen. Even supposedly antiwar politicians won’t call for this because they fear being labeled unpatriotic. Because they are so close to the seat of power they think they have too much to lose. We have nothing to lose but the lives of our children, siblings, and lovers and, if we wait too long, perhaps what remains of our freedom. Unless the movement against the occupation and for an immediate withdrawal becomes a movement even more popular than the movement against the war, those of us who already are part of it could easily end up isolated and irrelevant or imprisoned.

Why do you think John Ashcroft is on the warpath defending the PATRIOT Acts?

RON JACOBS is author of The Way the Wind Blew: a history of the Weather Underground.

He can be reached at: rjacobs@zoo.uvm.edu

 

Ron Jacobs is the author of Daydream Sunset: Sixties Counterculture in the Seventies published by CounterPunch Books. He lives in Vermont. He can be reached at: ronj1955@gmail.com.

More articles by:

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

zen economics

Weekend Edition
December 02, 2016
Friday - Sunday
John Pilger
The Coming War on China
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: The CIA’s Plots to Kill Castro
Paul Street
The Iron Heel at Home: Force Matters
Pam Martens - Russ Martens
Timberg’s Tale: Washington Post Reporter Spreads Blacklist of Independent Journalist Sites
Andrew Levine
Must We Now Rethink the Hillary Question? Absolutely, Not
Joshua Frank
CounterPunch as Russian Propagandists: the Washington Post’s Shallow Smear
David Rosen
The Return of HUAC?
Rob Urie
Race and Class in Trump’s America
Patrick Cockburn
Why Everything You’ve Read About Syria and Iraq Could be Wrong
Caroline Hurley
Anatomy of a Nationalist
Ayesha Khan
A Muslim Woman’s Reflections on Trump’s Misogyny
Michael Hudson – Steve Keen
Rebel Economists on the Historical Path to a Global Recovery
Russell Mokhiber
Sanders Single Payer and Death by Democrat
Roger Harris
The Triumph of Trump and the Specter of Fascism
Steve Horn
Donald Trump’s Swamp: Meet Ten Potential Energy and Climate Cabinet Picks and the Pickers
Louis Proyect
Deepening Contradictions: Identity Politics and Steelworkers
Ralph Nader
Trump and His Betraying Makeover
Stephen Kimber
The Media’s Abysmal Coverage of Castro’s Death
Dan Bacher
WSPA: The West’s Most Powerful Corporate Lobbying Group
Nile Bowie
Will Trump backpedal on the Trans-Pacific Partnership?
Ron Ridenour
Fidel’s Death Brings Forth Great and Sad Memories
Missy Comley Beattie
By Invitation Only
Fred Gardner
Sword of Damocles: Pot Partisans Fear Trump’s DOJ
Renee Parsons
Obama and Propornot
Dean Baker
Cash and Carrier: Trump and Pence Put on a Show
Jack Rasmus
Taming Trump: From Faux Left to Faux Right Populism
Ron Jacobs
Selling Racism—A Lesson From Pretoria
Julian Vigo
The Hijos of Buenos Aires:  When Identity is Political
Subcomandante Insurgente Galeano
By Way of Prologue: On How We Arrived at the Watchtower and What We Saw from There
Dave Lindorff
Is Trump’s Idea To Fix the ‘Rigged System’ by Appointing Crooks Who’ve Played It?
Aidan O'Brien
Fidel and Spain: A Tale of Right and Wrong
Carol Dansereau
Stop Groveling! How to Thwart Trump and Save the World
Kim Nicolini
Moonlight, The Movie
Evan Jones
Behind GE’s Takeover of Alstom Energy
James A Haught
White Evangelicals are Fading, Powerful, Baffling
Barbara Moroncini
Protests and Their Others
Joseph Natoli
The Winds at Their Backs
Cesar Chelala
Poverty is Not Only an Ignored Word
David Swanson
75 Years of Pearl Harbor Lies
Alex Jensen
The Great Deceleration
Nyla Ali Khan
When Faith is the Legacy of One’s Upbringing
Gilbert Mercier
Trump Win: Paradigm Shift or Status Quo?
Stephen Martin
From ‘Too Big to Fail’ to ‘Too Big to Lie’: the End Game of Corporatist Globalization.
Charles R. Larson
Review: Emma Jane Kirby’s “The Optician of Lampedusa”
David Yearsley
Haydn Seek With Hsu
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail